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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Inquiry hears of commando's death
Loch Ewe, Wester Ross
The incident took place during a dive at Loch Ewe in Wester Ross
A fish farm worker has told a fatal accident inquiry at Dingwall Sheriff Court how he pulled a drowned friend from the water after a dive went wrong.

Royal Marine Martin Blackley died after helping remove dead fish from a cage in Loch Ewe, Wester Ross, four years ago.

His friend James Bell, 27, had asked the 26-year-old to work with him on the job for Marine Harvest at a salmon farm.

However, he told the inquiry his friend was an inexperienced diver.

Mr Blackley failed to surface after 67 minutes underwater.

Mr Bell, who works for his father's Aultbea firm Seahorse Aquaculture, leapt into the loch and found the young marine entangled in rope attached to the fish cage.

The fiscal Roderick Urquhart said performance tests on the scuba gear were carried out and the regulator was found to be defective, corroded and not producing enough air.

Following the tragedy, Mr Bell's father, Colin, was fined 5,500 for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of an employee, and for failing to have proper insurance.


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